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WOULD you use a mobile emergency mechanic for equipment?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by TGM, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. TGM

    TGM Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    i ask this because i am preparing to get back into plowing (for myself as i have been in business for 3 1/2 years). i miss it a lot, BUT i'm not going to invest too much money unless i land a couple decent commercial contracts. i can get a decent residential route from my customers who already want it, but i hate res plowing and the money isn't there unless i get most people in a neighborhood.

    anyways my question is this: would you hire a mechanic if something broke? if your sander wont start? is this a feesable business? sure the emergency fee would be a lot higher than the usual hourly rate but at 2:00 in the morning and your sander wont start at the commercial property you're at, what do you do? (hopefully you have backup equipment ha).


    the reason i ask is because my side business has GREAT potential though i'm a landscaper by trade who's getting out of the construction end of things. if commercial contracts don't go well i could run a small residential route and possibly become known as the emergency mobile mechanic guy in the area
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Only trouble with that is you'll need to keep a lot of stuff in stock ,you can't run to the store at 2 am
     
  3. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    there was a long discussion on this a while ago, search the site.

    As someone whom has operated a snowplow service facility for the last 35 years, the profits are not there. I maintain a 24/7 shop during snow events and often lose money on labor costs. If you have a well serviced and maintained customer base they don't have serous breakdowns so you pay premium wage to have a man sit on his thumb. It needs to be done to provide the service I promise my customers but it's not in itself profitable unless they have a good night of dealing with the un-serviced none maintainedpayup:D

    The un-serviced, none maintained units normally need the kind of attention you can not provide in a driveway or parking lot. It will require you carrying a welder, torch, a wide and varied inventory lots of payup in a good service inventory. You would have to carry it all, there is no running back to the shop to get parts. Try swapping out a base and sump in a parking lot or back of a service truck. I have been and have sent men on the road to repair broken plows/spreaders, it is always a last resort and expensive for somebody.

    Not to mention travel time, down time, 2 at a time, payment systems,etc. As I said search the site.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  4. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Our dealer is open during storms for plow and salter repairs-and is as busy as a church on sunday. He has added a mobile truck to primarily service the eq't he has sold. Normally takes two trips. One to figure out whats wrong, and one to repair or replace.
     
  5. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    What does he charge for this service? What form of payment does he require?
     
  6. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    I dont know what he charges, they did warranty work for me. Im assuming he's not cheap though.
     
  7. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    Yeah we go out on Warranty if the unit can not get to us but normally they just bring them in.
     
  8. TGM

    TGM Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    thanks guys. i guess i'll just stick to snowblowers
     
  9. mullis56

    mullis56 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 824

    We have 24 hour mechanic on duty and another tire guy on call 24 hours a day during event for heavy equipment. Works out well for us!
     
  10. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I guess the answer to your question, is yes. If I really had to. I think most of us are, or at least should be, carrying some basic spare parts. Like Basher said, the kind of repairs that you would likely be called to do are going to be difficult to do in the field.

    I wouldn't give up on the idea completely though. Depending on the truck you have, you could start carrying some of the common parts for plows that are most popular in your area. Let guys know you have them. This way you can keep making money plowing, etc. But maybe pick up few extra bucks helping a guy out with a hose, light, ram, pin, pump filter, something like that.

    Like any new business, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Grow slowly and see what happens.
     
  11. TGM

    TGM Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    like i said i'm a self employed landscaper by trade. i started my side business to supplement on the days i don't work and to compete with a company i formally worked for. i'll probably just stick to doing snowblower repairs and plowing. the inventory i keep in the trailer for doing small engine work isn't even close to what plowing equipment is. the only thing i will do is sander small engine work/tune ups.